By Rick Sallinger

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– South Metro Fire Rescue may be rapidly growing as votes of consolidation by smaller fire departments continues.

When there is a fire in the southern part of the Denver metro area, any number of fire departments may respond to the call, but that is rapidly changing.

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Now, Highlands Ranch and Littleton Fire Protection Districts are giving notice they plan to turn their services over to the growing South Metro Fire Rescue.

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Eric Hurst sees benefits for those who need fire or emergency medical services.

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“The basic concept is a person who calls 911 for help is going to be getting to them faster and more resources for more emergencies that are occurring,” said Hurst.

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South Metro is going to be taking over the dispatching duties for the two new agencies soon. The actual transfer of control is not expected to take place until 2019 after a vote.

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That could leave the City of Littleton Fire Department alone after a fractured partnership. It has run the fire services for Highlands Ranch and the Littleton Fire Protection District for decades.

Now Mayor Debbie Brinkman says they may not be able to afford to run their department on their own.

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“So historically we have been a leader a change like is substantive and big and will be historic,” she told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

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So, she is now in favor of the City of Littleton joining South Metro as well.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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